This paper investigates the design and characterization of a miniature fluid dynamic bearing using novel multi-step elliptical grooves for small-form-factor data storage applications and miniature fan motors. In contrast to conventional herringbone-grooved cylindrical journal bearings (HGJBs), the proposed journal bearing contains a single set of multi-step elliptical grooves (EGJB). The performance of the proposed multi-step EGJB is characterized numerically using proprietary flow field analysis software. In addition, to reduce the number of optimal full-factorial experimental design tests (323), the Taguchi parameter design methodology is used to find out the optimal design parameters of the multi-step EGJB. Results show that compared to the conventional HGJB presented by the current group in a previous study, the proposed multi-step EGJB improves the load capacity. Consequently, the proposed motor represents another solution for both existingand emerging miniaturized spindle motor applications.
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